Louisiana Tech beats Southern Miss 72-61

RUSTON, La. (AP) Raheem Appleby and Michale Kyser combined for 42 points as Louisiana Tech beat Southern Miss 72-61 and clinched the Conference USA regular season crown on Thursday night.

Appleby had 23 points and Kyser scored nine of his 19 points in the final 8:34 of the second half, finishing with 14 boards. The Bulldogs (24-7, 15-3) claimed their first outright championship title since 1999 and will enter the Conference USA tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Appleby hit two from distance and Xavian Stapleton slammed down two dunks in a 10-0 run that gave Louisiana Tech a 16 point lead with 13:21 left to play. The Golden Eagles (9-20, 4-14) closed to 59-49 with 5:09 remaining but then gave up 11 straight points, ending any hopes for a comeback.

Shadell Millinghaus scored 25 points to lead Southern Miss.